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Downwind from the body’s yellow teeth,

children whisper night

amniotic clouds of car exhaust

foaming to a lather above them.

They are later found deboned—

plucked from the narrowing fi eld—

ears pulled back,

a nation growling into them

as they scrape double-plumed birdsongs

from the beaks of drowned hummingbirds

and smash them into eagle-bone whistles

then ringlets of fire

then the blood of orphaned lambs.

from Flood SongFind it in the library

Copyright © 2009 Sherwin Bitsui
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Poems Sherwin Bitsui

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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